With 58 Floridians reported dead due to complications of the novel coronavirus Friday, the state’s death toll is now 726.
And the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed 1,413 new cases of COVID-19, raising the state’s caseload to 24,753, which includes 687 non-Florida residents. Now 3,649 Floridians have been hospitalized, up 191 from Thursday.
Earlier Friday, the department reported 18 fatalities since Thursday evening.
South Florida has consistently been the largest hot spot of COVID-19 with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties home to three in five of the state’s coronavirus cases.
DOH confirmed 12 fatalities in Miami-Dade County Friday, raising the death toll there to 195. The 8,824 cases now reported in the county are 498 more than Thursday night.
In Broward County, 3,688 people have tested positive, an increase of 222 since Thursday, and six more, now 107 total, have passed away there. Palm Beach County now reports 2,088 cases and 115 fatalities, 221 new cases and three new fatalities since the day before.
Cases in longterm care facilities, home to some of the most at-risk populations, have been growing faster than the state as a whole as now 1,609 residents and staff have tested positive and 157 people have died. Combining Friday’s reports, officials confirmed 155 cases and 21 fatalities among residents and staff.
According to the Florida Health Care Association, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have insufficient protective equipment to last two weeks.
On Thursday, DOH received the test results of 17,251 people, the most in a single day yet. And while 1,227 people tested positive, those confirmed cases made up a smaller percentage of new results, 9%, than on previous days with a similar amount of new confirmed cases.
DOH has the results of 240,604 people tested for COVID-19. At least 1,309 still await their results from department-coordinated labs, though thousands more whose specimens went to private labs likely still await the labs’ findings.
But as more “rapid” coronavirus tests, including a 24-hour test by Baptist Health South Florida, become available, Gov. Ron DeSantis hopes the lag time in testing results will decrease. And with antibody tests on the way, the states will be able to find out the extent of the virus and deploy health care workers accordingly.
The Governor is also waiting to sign the state budget, which will go into effect in July, until he has a better picture of what the state’s economy looks like. Budget haircuts will certainly be necessary, but hopefully not a special session, he said, but regardless, the bulk of the action needs to happen up from to get Floridians the unemployment assistance they need.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 181,293 Floridians filed for unemployment claims. But Florida Department of Management Services Secretary Jonathan Satter, put in charge of the state’s unemployment claims effort by DeSantis on Wednesday, told reporters the following day that only 33,623 individuals have received their benefits since mid-March.